Here we see a close-up image of a TUNG-SOL KT120 valve, which is ARC’s power output valve of choice for use in many of its amplifiers.
This image shows an ARC VSi75 valve-type integrated amplifier that is well along in the assembly process. Pale blue protective tape is used on surfaces that might otherwise be prone to marring during assembly.
The rear panel of the VSi75 shows ARC’s typically clean layout. Every single ARC unit undergoes burn-in and then a full functional test, which leads up to the final hurdle each ARC component must pass prior to shipment; namely, an in-depth listening test. This particular VSi75 is nearing the stage in the process where it will be ready for burn-in.
The aforementioned engine, er, amplifier stands as used during construction of ARCs largest power amplifiers. According to ARC, the stands make it much easier to flip the behemoth amps upside down, as is occasionally necessary during assembly. Beefy casters also make it easier to roll the amps from one assembly station to the next.
One of the joys of owning ARC equipment is that the products last a long time and can be repaired or rebuilt almost indefinitely. This image, for example, shows the interior of a special stockroom reserved specifically for parts used in ARC components that are no longer in production. Obviously, ARC takes its long-term commitment to its customers very seriously.
Treasures from the past: David Gordon holds an NOS (new old stock) faceplate for the firm’s classic D-79 power amplifier. ARC not only stocks functional parts for classic models, but cosmetic parts as well.
This massive, ceiling-mounted engine hoist is used to lower ARC’s largest power amplifiers into their shipping crates.
Here, a sample of the firm’s flagship, two-chassis Reference 10 preamplifier awaits final packing and shipment. I asked whether the ventilated Perspex (Plexiglas) top covers were standard or just for show and learned they are offered as standard on the Reference 10. Why Perspex covers? Once again, “They sound better…”
Audio Research is now part of the Fine Sounds S.p.A. group and accordingly does some assembly and test work for select Wadia Digital components within the ARC factory.
Teamwork: A portion of ARC’s assembly space is reserved specifically for construction and testing of components from Fine Sounds S.p.A. sister brand Wadia Digital. Here, a nearly completed set of Wadia components awaits voltage assignments prior to final testing.
A beautiful Wadia Digital disc player nears completion on the assembly line.
A bevy of Wadia Digital Model 121 Decoding Computers undergo burn-in prior to final testing.